Background: Celiac disease is common in both children and adults. Small intestinal biopsy is mandatory for establishing a diagnosis. Anti-endomysial antibodies, detected by immunofluorescence, have a sensitivity and specificity close to 100% in the diagnosis of CD. Recently, tissue transglutaminase has been identified as the target autoantigen of antibodies against endomysium, and TTG antibodies are comparable to EMA-IMF in the diagnosis of CD.
Objective: To evaluate a new enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay kit for EMA, compared to EMA-IMF and TTG antibodies in the diagnosis of CD.
Methods: Our study population included all subjects with positive EMA-IMF who underwent intestinal biopsy (n=21). From the same sera, TTG antibodies and EMA-ELISA were determined, and all antibody results were compared to the biopsy findings.
Results: EMA-IMF was able to predict biopsy findings of CD in 19 of 21 cases (90.5%). When patients with biopsy findings compatible with CD and positive EMA-IMF (n=19) were tested for EMA-ELISA and TTG antibodies, 18 of the 19 were positive for both EMA-ELISA and TTG antibodies. A significant correlation was found between EMA-ELISA and TTG antibody titers (r = 0.74, P < 0.001).
Conclusions: Our study demonstrates that EMA-ELISA is comparable to TTG antibodies in the diagnosis of CD, and supports the use of EMA-ELISA as a serologic marker for this disease.